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  • “My Spirit is There”: Life in The Shadow of The Mong Ton Dam


    Before reaching the Keng Kham valley, the bright green Pang river, the Salween’s major tributary running south through central Shan state, splits into three parallel rivers that form myriad channels creating islands and islets, blurring the line between forests and water in a pristine and biodiverse riverscape. Rarely seen by outsiders, these are the famed “thousand islands,” forming a stunning inland delta that gives the “Kunhing” township its name. To the south, the Pang meets the Salween in a cascade of waterfalls. Seen from the air, white water tumbles down through verdant forested islands on an escarpment hundreds of meters long.

  • Mekong Eye News Digest: 07 December 2016


    Curated by The Mekong Eye. A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, safeguards and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches over 4500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.

  • When will a basin-scale vision for the Mekong come to reality?


    The Mekong basin is being stirred up by dams, both on the mainstream and tributaries, despite the warning that they pose serious threats to an ecologically and agriculturally vital area of the world. Experts say a basin scale vision is crucial for good water governance, but when will it become a reality?

  • Off-grid solar to help Myanmar bring electricity to all by 2030


    Four feet in length, of aggressive disposition, and deadly poisonous: you don’t want to stand on a Russell’s viper in the dark. Especially if there’s no antivenom for miles around. Yet that’s the daily predicament facing millions of villagers in Myanmar, where snakebites cause about 500 deaths every year.

    In Yin Ma Chaung, a rural settlement about nine hours by car from Yangon, villagers can rest easier knowing there are doses of antivenom chilling securely in a new refrigerator in the village’s community centre, powered by solar.

  • Dam’s impacts being felt


    Residents of Stung Treng province’s Preah Romkil commune are reluctant to express their concerns over Laos’s Don Sahong hydropower dam since it was endorsed last month by Prime Minister Hun Sen, despite the impacts of the dam already being keenly felt, activists and researchers said yesterday.

    Hun Sen last month announced his support of the controversial project, expressing hope that Lao would sell electricity to Cambodia at a low price, but activist Chum Hout said yesterday that since the endorsement, community members are fearful of lodging complaints. “We appeal to Samdech [Hun Sen] to stop supporting this project . . . Fishing has seriously fallen,” Hout said.

  • New Mekong pact to boost capitals’ connectivity


    A major expansion of economic-corridor networks and new areas for economic investment valued at US$32.6 billion (Bt1.2 trillion) will strengthen links between the capital cities of Mekong countries, according to the agreement revealed at the 21st Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Ministerial Conference in Chiang Rai province yesterday.

  • Environmental Protection by the Numbers: Vietnamese Journalists Learn to Use Data to Tell Stories


    From 26-28 October 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam, USAID-supported Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partners PanNature and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network trained Vietnamese journalists and local NGOs on how to better source, analyze and incorporate environmental data to tell compelling stories. The workshop aimed to build journalists’ skills in using data to understand and describe environmental issues – particularly in stories about the costs and benefits of regional development projects such as dams, mines and power plants.

  • Moving beyond the Myitsone dam dilemma


    Amid a wave of popular protest, construction on the Chinese-backed project was halted by the Thein Sein government in 2011. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s assurances in August that there will be a solution to the stalled dam may be welcome news in Beijing.

  • Clean energy for Krabi


    In a bid to create the impression that the coal-fired power plant in Krabi has won backing from locals, Krabi governor Pinit Boonlert submitted a list of supporters’ signatures last week, totalling 15,000, to the government. That is worrisome.

    The move came immediately after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government attached importance to public participation and would pay heed to locals’ needs when making a final decision over the contentious project in the province with a population of 456,800. He made the comments in response to the fresh round of protests by anti-coal supporters at Government House last month.

  • VN green energy gets strong tail wind


    Việt Nam is hoping to boost its renewable energy production, especially wind and solar energy, to more than 10.7 per cent of total generation by 2030, up from the previously planned 6 per cent.

    It plans to increase the rate to at least 7 per cent by 2020, up from the previous target of 4.5 per cent.

    The country now relies heavily on electricity from coal and hydropower.

  • Myanmar director takes his film to Luang Prabang


    The film is a powerful indictment of the country’s rogue crime and drug-infested jade mines, though at its core it is a human story of brothers reuniting and reconnecting, of attempting to define the inexplicable. Shot is Mandalay and Hpakant, Kachin State’s “city of jade”, the movie took two years to complete. Production was steeped in technical and cultural challenges, says Midi Z. The harsh physical environment, as well as cultural factors made production particularly difficult.

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